Why doesnt Jesus explicitly give penance


You’re getting real close to a personal attack.

Because we are fallen humans we must use different rules and different resources than Jesus had at His ready. Priests, like Padre Pio, who could see souls, often approached confession in an entirely different way than a priest who could not.

Jesus gave the power of Confession to St. Peter “whatever you bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven…” and this includes the right to have the person make up for their sins in this life.

It’s not illogical to state that different rules applied to Jesus, especially since many of the times He forgave sins the people basically gave themselves penance because they knew that He could see their hearts.


Ok. Its starting to make a little bit more sence. I always saw repenting and penance as two different things like… repenting as turning away from my sin and regretting what i did…and penance as doing something in reperation of my sin. If i can figure this out it will also help with purgatory…because it is my understanding that in purgatory i will have to pay or make reparation for sins i have committed…or i could do penance for them still here on earth…thoughts?


Hey im not trying to use that card…that is honestly how i feel. I will do it if he needs me to. And i want to do it…but it would really help if i saw Jesus tell people to do it


Yes i can see people on their own did penance…i will accept it if the church teaches it because we have the keys. But what if we are asking for more than is required?


We should not fear penance because some priests abuse their power. Jesus has also said that much will be returned to us for obedience.


I agree…we will be judged based on our knowledge anyways. But i would just like to know the truth.and how it is true based off what jesus taught…and not just go with it…


The truth is that Jesus didn’t do many things like they ended up being practiced. For instance, it is very likely that the apostles and Jesus were laying on couches or propped on pillows during the Last Supper. Reading about how people in the Middle East brings much meaning to the phrase “reclined at table” People in Jesus’ time didn’t use chairs like we do today.

Therefore, some of our practices are modified, through the wisdom of the Catholic Church, in order for us to practice them. It would be highly impractical for 300 people to recline at table for Mass, so the church gave us pews a few hundred years in.


It is the acts of penance that satisfy the need for temporal punishment which can be done before death and includes obtaining indulgences. The indulgence is the Church adding to what is already satisfied through the penitential action, in general one of four kinds of acts:

  1. Raising the mind to God with humble trust while performing one’s duties and bearing life’s difficulties, and adding, at least mentally, some pious invocation.
  2. Devoting oneself or one’s goods compassionately in a spirit of faith to the service of one’s brothers and sisters in need.
  3. Freely abstaining in a spirit of penance from something licit and pleasant.
  4. Freely giving open witness to one’s faith before others in particular circumstances of everyday life.

So the penance done will act to break attachments to sin.
And reparation is to undo this harm we have caused.

Catechism (entire item)

1473 The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains. While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the “old man” and to put on the “new man.” 85

Catechism (excerpt)

1469 This sacrament reconciles us with the Church. Sin damages or even breaks fraternal communion.


There is no telling what exactly Jesus said in every single situation because not everything was written down, and then if it was written down, we are left with very little about what Jesus would do in certain circumstances, and are left with others who really have no basis to say that they do know for certain what He would say or do, only their " professional opinions ".

Maybe Jesus didn’t directly say well you did this, so you need to do this exactly in order. But there is nothing wrong with making some act of penance, versus, just saying, well i’m sorry, see you later.


Which then makes me wonder why it was written down. Maybe cause he didn’t say it? It just seems like something so important that if Jesus wanted it. It would be written down


One thing that does help me with this is that Jesus never said “dont do penance because its not required anymore”…and as he came to fulfill the law and not abolish it. But then again we dont have to follow the diet restrictions which makes me wonder if the penance is not required either? I think its on two different levels though


1 Peter 4:1-2

1 Christ therefore having suffered in the flesh, be you also armed with the same thought: for he that hath suffered in the flesh, hath ceased from sins:
2 That now he may live the rest of his time in the flesh, not after the desires of men, but according to the will of God.

1 Peter 4:8
8 But before all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves: for charity covereth a multitude of sins.

James 5:19-20

19 My brethren, if any of you err from the truth, and one convert him:
20 He must know that he who causeth a sinner to be converted from the error of his way, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.


From the Council of Trent, CHAPTER XIV, On the Fallen, and their Restoration.

But those who through sin have fallen away from the received grace of justification, may again be justified, when, God exciting them, through the sacrament of penance, they, by the merit of Christ, shall have obtained the recovery of the grace lost. For this manner of justification is unto the fallen the reparation, which the holy fathers have aptly called a second plank after the shipwreck of grace lost.[79] For, on behalf of those who after baptism fall into sins, Christ Jesus instituted the sacrament of penance, when He said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whosesoever sins ye shall remit, they are remitted unto them, and whosesoever sins ye shall retain, they are retained.[80] Whence it is to be taught, that the penitence of a Christian man after his fall, is very different from that at his baptism; and that therein are included not only a cessation from sins, and a detestation thereof, or, a contrite and humble heart,[81] but also the sacramental confession of the same sins, at least in desire, and to be made in its season, and sacerdotal absolution; and likewise satisfaction by fasts, almsgivings, prayers, and the other pious exercises of a spiritual life; not indeed for the eternal punishment, which is, together with the guilt, remitted, either by the sacrament, or by the desire of the sacrament; but for the temporal punishment, which, as the sacred writings teach, is not always wholly remitted, as is done in baptism, unto those who, ungrateful to the grace of God which they have received, have grieved the Holy Spirit,[82] and have not feared to defile the temple of God.[83] Concerning which penitence it is written: Remember from whence thou art fallen; do penance, and do the first works.[84] And again: The sorrow that is according to God worketh penance steadfast unto salvation.[85] And again: Do penance, and bring forth fruits worthy of penance.[86]

  1. Ep. ad Demetr.
  2. John xx. 22, 23.
  3. Ps. l. 19 (li. 17).
  4. Ephes. iv. 30.
  5. 1 Cor. iii. 17.
  6. Apoc. ii. 5, “repent and do,” &c.
  7. “Worketh repentance,” 2 Cor. vii. 10.
  8. Matt. iii. 2; Luke iii. 8, with the customary mistranslation of μετανοήσατε.


Thank you for your help vico. I’m going to study those bible verses and that church writing to make sure i understand. At this point i do believe in penance because the church teaches it…it would just be helpful to understand the why…


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